Barbara Parris was lauded for her outstanding work in education as the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College held a retirement celebration in her honour this weekend.
The former Principal spent more than 40 years in the teaching service with 21 at Erdiston Teachers’ College where she served as both Deputy Principal and Principal.
She was described by her colleges, family and friends as a person who had an eye for detail but was also loving and kind-hearted.
Minister of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones said Parris responded to his first request to train untrained teachers who were in the education system.
“Over nine and a half, I believe we have trained about 1,200 teachers or so and that would be a record,” Jones said.
He told Parris that he would be calling on her expertise as “teachers do not retire, we continue to give even if it is in service organizations, civil society organizations, we continue to give”.
The Education Minister commended Parris for her outstanding service to education, as well as her outstanding role as Principal of Erdiston.
Parris was serenaded in song by Natalie Burke who rendered the song Wind Beneath My Wings; while Simon Alleyne read a tribute in poetry entitled Have You Ever Been To Parris.
Acting Principal of Erdiston Teachers’ College, Patricia Saul said that Parris’ leadership skills were the epitome of what a good leader should possess.
“We would disagree on issues in meetings but the next morning she would meet me in the corridor with, ‘Hi Pat, how you doing?’. That level of maturity to me is the hallmark of any good manager to be able to disagree, arguably, to be able to separate the issue from the person. These are traits which a good leader should possess,” Saul said.
Parris in her remarks thanked her colleagues for making her tenure one that was peaceful and also said that the ability to speak to heads of the various unions assisted her in making her tenure incident free.
“Colleagues, thank you for your support and the sharing of your ideas with us. The unions proved to be critical friends, staff members at the Erdiston belong to National Union of Public Workers, Barbados Union of Teachers and Barbados Secondary Schools Teachers Union. I learnt the ground rules and stuck to them. If I needed any clarification I could call any of the union leaders for it. So, my 21 years were peace and harmony,” she said. (LG)